The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has resigned amid a tide of criticism over how it responded to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Nicholas Holgate said the communities and local government secretary had on Tuesday “required the leader of the council to seek my resignation”.

He said last week’s fire at the North Kensington block, in which at least 79 people died, was “heart-breaking”.

In a statement, he said:

Serving the families so desperately affected by the heart-breaking tragedy at Grenfell Tower remains the highest priority of the Council. Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the Council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed.

Success in our efforts requires leadership across London that sustains the confidence and support of central Government. There is a huge amount still to do for the victims of the fire, requiring the full attention of this Council and many others. If I stayed in post, my presence would be a distraction.

Whilst the public inquiry and other investigations will get to the truth of the causes of this tragedy and the management of its aftermath, I strongly believe that Councillors and officers have always endeavoured to have the interests of our residents at heart and will continue to do so.


Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the council, said: “It is with great regret that I have today accepted Nicholas Holgate’s resignation. Like everyone else, the Council has been grief stricken by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and has sought to provide the greatest level of support we can to victims. That is a huge challenge and Nicholas has led from the front in seeking to do this. However, the Council will now need to work in a new way with different partners to take this forward.

“Nicholas has made a huge contribution to Kensington and Chelsea during his eight years with us and is greatly admired by staff and members. I am enormously grateful to him.”




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